Heist Society

From Joanna, Teen Book Reviewer
author: Carter, Ally
 Heist Society 
Heist Society revolves around a teenage girl named Katarina Bishop. Raised in a family of thieves, she leaves the life she was raised for and cons her way into an elite boarding school. Her life as a “normal” teen is short-lived though. Her old friend and former partner-in-crime, Hale, frames her in a prank that gets her expelled. His reason was that Arturo Taccone, a powerful and dangerous man, is missing five of his most prized paintings. His prime and only suspect is none other than Kat’s father, who was wrongly accused as he had a 24-hour Interpol trail on him. Racing to meet Taccone’s deadline, Kat enlists old friends to help her complete the almost impossible task of re-stealing the paintings. If you like a suspenseful book that’s full of action, this is the book for you. I enjoyed reading every page of it and liked the irony of parts of this. Overall, I’d recommend this book to almost everyone.

The Indigo Notebook

From Catherine, Teen Book Reviewer
author: Resau, Laura
The Indigo Notebook
 The book, The Indigo Notebook by Laura Resau is a fictional book about a girl who travels the world with her mom. Each year they move to a different place, with a different culture and lifestyle. It takes a while to get used to it but the girl, Zeeta, eventually gets used to the change and can call the place her home. In her fifteenth notebook [one for each country they’ve lived in], which is indigo colored, she writes about meeting Jeff, Wendell, and many other people around Otavalo.

Wendell is on a quest for his birth parents, and Jeff is looking for someone to settle down with. They were both on the plane with Layla, Zeeta’s mom, and Zeeta. Zeeta desperately wants Jeff and Layla to like each other, because he seems like a Perfect Dad, and she thinks that she likes Wendell. The problem is, Layla isn’t into men like Jeff, and Wendell is in love with his ex-girlfriend. Zeeta thinks that both couples are getting closer through their quests: to settle down and make sure Zeeta is safe and to find Wendell’s birth parents. But will the unhappiness and dangers along the way ruin both relationships? Or will they continue as couples and make it through these rough times?? I liked this book because it shows how people can get over each other’s differences and still love each other. It also has a little drama, danger, and adventure in it. I think that this is a great book for teens to read!!


From Divya, Teen Book Reviewer
author: Vail, Rachel
 “Gorgeous” by Rachel Vail is a great read for any girl above the age of 10. This book is about Allison Avery, the 14-year-old middle sister in between two beautiful, perfect girls. Being always be called “interesting-looking” compared to her brainy older sister Quinn and her popular younger sister Pheobe, she always feels as if that there is nothing that sets her apart from everyone else. So when the devil comes to her one night and offers to turn her gorgeous in the eyes of seven people, she jumps at the chance. But instead of her soul. the devil wants something else: her cell phone. Soon after, Allison suddenly becomes popular with a new best friend and the boy that she has a crush suddenly is chasing after her. And like any other family, there are many issues with money challenging the Averys. All the while, Allison runs off with her new friend Roxie, a model, to New York City for an audition for a teen magazine. With all this  going on, Allison doesn’t know what to do or who is actually her friend or is just doing it because she is suddenly
gorgeous. I would give this book 8 out of 10 stars because it shows that sometimes family and friends are more important than looking amazing. I look forward to reading “Lucky,” another book set in the same family.

Hellhound on his trail : the stalking of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the international hunt for his assassin

From Chris Garland
author: Sides, Hampton
Hellhound on his trail : the stalking of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the international hunt for his assassin
James Earl Ray and Martin Luther King were at existential crossroads in 1968.  Each was looking for a new path to the next phase of his life.  Ray was seeking a way to give his life focus after his escape from prison.  King, struggling in his personal and professional life, was trying to jump start his movement in a new direction- away from Civil Rights and toward the issue of poverty. Chance found both men in Los Angeles where Ray had his epiphany. He would kill the Civil Rights leader and become a hero.  Thus, their paths led them to Memphis and to their ultimate fate.  Hampton Sides weaves together a fascinating account of these two men which led to the assassination of Martin Luther King in April 1968 and the historic manhunt for James Earl Ray that followed.


From Rosemarie Jerome
Shutter [videorecording]
 This is one creepy, scary movie.  I watched the original Thai movie which was made in 2004 and one of the U.S. remakes  from 2008. The Thai  version is much darker but they are both edge of your seat psychological thrillers similar to “The Grudge.”
A young couple is driving down a dark, disserted road and they hit a young woman. In shock and confusion, they drive away instead of stopping  and so begins the guilt and fear.  Shortly after the accident, the young man, who is a professional photographer, begins to notice strange visions  through his camera lens and white streaks across his photos.  The couple also begins to feel a presence in his apartment and bizarre things begin  to happen.  As they start investigating the weirdness intensifies and shocking secrets immerge.  Don’t want to give away too much but it is a film  that will keep you up at night, it is hard to forget and like “Psycho” it will have you peeking into dark places.

Brain Camp

From Carson, Teen Book Reviewer
author: Kim, Susan
Brain Camp
The book Brain Camp, by Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan is a very interesting book. The main character, Lucas, is a long-haired boy who breaks  into cars and is a slacker. Jenna is a geek, and people consider her to be a freak because she acts very strange and weird. In Jenna’s family, all of  her relatives want to be doctors and lawyers and other jobs that require high levels of intelligence. Jenna doesn’t seem to want to be a doctor or  a  lawyer. Both Lucas’s parents and Jenna’s parents try sending them to summer camps that can get them smarter. However, in the past, both  of them were rejected by every summer program that their parents tried to get them into. This time, a tall stranger visits both Lucas’s and  Jenna’s parents and offers them the opportunity of having their children enroll in a special summer camp that can prepare children for the SATs and other exams. Both Lucas’s and Jenna’s parents decide to enroll them. But when Jenna and Lucas set foot  in Camp Fielding, they sense that  something is wrong with the campers. At first, most of the campers seem just like them. Then, the campers seem to change from deeply dumb to
surprisingly intelligent. They don’t notice how gross the food is anymore, and they have deep interests in highly advanced subjects. Also, Lucas  and Jenna notice lots of dead baby birds on the ground and feathers throughout the camp. They realize something isn’t right at Camp Fielding,  and they become determined to find out what it is.

I’d recommend this book to anyone who likes mystery books, because this book makes you want to finish the whole book in one sitting, due to  the highly entertaining plot of the story. It makes you wonder if there actually are camps out there that can be so mysterious.

September Sisters

From Alex, Teen Book Reviewer
author: Cantor, Jillian
September Sisters
For the Teen Review Blog, I read the book September Sisters written by Jillian Cantor. In this wonderful book, Abigail and her younger sister Becky are always fighting and bickering. Their mother always pretends they’re friends but they aren’t. Then one day Becky disappears at  night. Abigail and her family are upset and are calling everyone including police. Abigail feels it’s all her fault but it really isn’t.
I would recommend this book to all girls because its about a girl going through life feeling lost because her sister isn’t there. I doubt boys would  want to read this book but you never know. September Sisters is an amazing book. The details are vivid and very descriptive. You can really use  your imagination in this book. I could barely put it down, that’s how good it was for me. September Sisters is a very enjoyable book and I hope  you all enjoy it too.

Fantasia / Fantasia 2000

From Erik Schmid
Fantasia / Fantasia 2000 [videorecording]
Fantasia and its sibling movie Fantasia 2000 belong in that category of films which you either love or hate. For those of us who enjoy the music-only soundtrack concept, Fantasia reigns as an example of what animation can be as a creative art form. Others see it as devastatingly boring. It can be helpful to know that Fantasia was Disney’s attempt at merging the art forms of animation and music, where the music can stand alone, with his animators creating storylines or abstract visuals that complement the music. Both of the films were made with this concept in mind; however even though Disney made this film, the entire concept lends itself better to an adult audience. The 2000 version tried to make the concept more viewer friendly by using a greater amount of humorous guest announcers between the shorts; unfortunately the shorts themselves were less memorable than in the classic first film. This edition combines the 2 titles into one welcome package with pristi  ne transfers and expertly produced surround sound. For those who love these movies, this release is a treat.

Resumes That Pop: Designs That Reflect your Personal Brand

From Edna Susman
author: Criscito, Pat
Resumes That Pop: Designs That Reflect your Personal Brand
The beauty of this book is that it includes close to 200 examples of all possible types of resumes. In addition to executive resumes, curricula vitae and the usual resumes, the author explains how to create one’s electronic resume, including ASCII text resumes for cutting and pasting into e-forms or MS Word files for uploading to career websites. Explanations of social networking sites such as Linkedln, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and YouTube is clear and succinct. Sample profiles for these sites are presented as well as information on e-folios, cover letters and blogs.

Expert in Murder

From Eileen Effrat
author: Upson, Nicola
Expert in Murder
The year is 1934 and Josephine Tey, the famous Scottish mystery writer and playwright, is having a leisurely breakfast when she receives a visit from Inspector Archie Penrose, an old friend.  He is investigating   the murder of Elspeth Simmons, a young women Tey befriended the previous day on the train trip from her Scottish home to London.  Hours later, one of Josephine’s   colleagues in the theater is poisoned.  It soon becomes clear these two murders are   connected to Tey’s   play, Richard of Bordeaux, that is nearing its final weeks at a West End theater.  Is Josephine Tey the intended victim?  As the investigation proceeds, it uncovers backstage jealousies, buried family secrets, and the tragic consequences of the First World War. For an enjoyable mystery with a well researched portrayal of life in 1930’s England and the London theater, this mystery is strongly suggested.  I have just finished the sequel, Angel With Two Faces, and I was NOT disappointed.  Upson just gets better.